Caboose server

Angel Debottis, a bartender at The Caboose, worked her shift in PPE on Saturday, May 2. The Alvin restaraunt held a "Free Beer Parking Lot Party" to celebrate the end of the statewide lockdown. (Photo by Alex Wukman/Alvin Advertiser)

Texas is back open for business is the message from Gov. Greg Abbott's office. Abbott allowed the state's stay-at-home order to expire on Thursday, April 30.

This meant that some businesses began reopening in phases on Friday, May 1.

Abbott's decision to relax the state lockdown was the latest ramp-up in his push to restart the Texas economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

First to open Friday were retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls.

However, the first businesses to  reopen will only be allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity.

Museums and libraries are also be allowed to open at 25 percent  capacity, but hands-on exhibits must remain closed.

Churches and places of worship can continue with business as usual and outdoor sports are allowed to resume, but with no more than four people playing at one time.

Abbott said a second phase of business reopenings could come as soon as May 18.

The second wave will be contingent on the state seeing "two weeks of data to confirm no flare-up of COVID-19."

That second phase would allow businesses to expand their occupancy to 50 percent, according to the governor.

Abbott said his new order "supersedes all local orders" saying those businesses must remain closed. He also said his order overrules any ordinance that imposes a fine or penalty for not wearing a mask. Abbott's order "gives permission to reopen, not a requirement."

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